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Pre-Employment Testing to Measure Soft Skills

Ashley Salvador |

June 8th, 2009

| Articles

What exactly are soft skills and how are you supposed to know what soft skills are required for a particular position? A study conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Office Team and HR.com provides some answers to the first of these two questions. The study involving a mix of 700 administrative and HR managers first examined the relative importance of technical expertise vs. soft skills and concluded that:

  • 67% of human resources managers said they would hire an applicant with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking;
  • Only 9% would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak soft skills;
  • 93% of human resource managers felt technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

The managers identified the following soft skills as being the most important at their organizations:

SOFT SKILLS SURVEY RESPONSE
Organization Skills 87%
Verbal Communication 81%
Teamwork & Collaboration 78%
Problem Solving 60%
Tact & Diplomacy 59%
Business Writing 48%

So if these are the soft skills that you should be considering, how do you identify the soft skills required for positions in your organization? A valid and reliable psychometric pre-employment test like the Prevue Assessments is the best and most expeditious way to address this question. Prevue Assessments use a scientifically validated system to look at the specific soft skill requirements for any position by examining the abilities, interest/motivation and personality traits that underpin these soft skills as follows:

SOFT SKILL PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT
Organization Skills Personality (Conscientiousness)
Verbal Communication Abilities, Words & Personality
Teamwork & Collaboration Personality (Independent)
Problem Solving Abilities & Personality
Tact and Diplomacy Personality & Motivation
Business Writing Abilities (Working with Words)

Now the final question; even when you know what you are looking for how do you determine whether a candidate has or can readily develop the soft skills required for a particular position? A candidate’s potential for exhibiting the required soft skills can be measured by matching the candidate’s scores on the Prevue Assessments taken by candidate against the benchmark of abilities, motivation and personality traits that underpin the required soft skills. Not only do you have solid job fit information, you also have information to assist you in onboarding and training the candidate.

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